What does ‘rub elbows’ mean?
The idiom "rub elbows" means to socialize or interact closely with someone, typically someone who is famous or influential.
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The idiom "rub elbows" is a phrase commonly used in American English. It is typically used to describe social interaction or close proximity with influential or important individuals. The idiom is derived from the literal action of physically touching or brushing against someone's elbow, indicating a level of familiarity or association. While the exact origin of the idiom is unclear, it has been in use since at least the early 20th century and remains popular in contemporary language.
"rub shoulders" is another idiom that is closely related to "rub elbows." It is used to describe the act of being in close contact or association with influential or important people. The phrase conveys the idea of mingling or socializing with individuals who hold higher social standing or prestige. When you rub shoulders with someone, you are in close proximity to them, which can lead to valuable connections and opportunities.
"give the elbow" is a related idiom that conveys the opposite meaning of "rub elbows." It is used to describe the act of intentionally excluding or shunning someone. When you give the elbow to someone, you are essentially rejecting their presence or cutting off their association. This idiom highlights the social dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, and the impact it can have on relationships and social standing.
"rub in" is another idiom related to "rub elbows." It is typically used to describe the act of emphasizing or reinforcing a point, often in a way that is perceived to be excessive or unnecessary. When you rub in a point, you are repeating or emphasizing it to make sure it is fully understood or acknowledged. This idiom can be used in various contexts, such as in conversation, writing, or teaching, to highlight the importance or significance of a particular point.
Another related idiom is "bend one's elbow," which is used to describe the act of drinking alcohol. When someone bends their elbow, they are raising a glass or bottle to their mouth to take a drink. This idiom is often used in informal or colloquial settings to refer to the act of consuming alcoholic beverages. It can also be used figuratively to describe someone who drinks excessively or frequently.
As metaphors, these idioms add depth and nuance to the concept of "rub elbows." They expand on the idea of social interaction, influence, and the ways in which people connect and interact with one another. These idioms highlight various aspects of social dynamics, including inclusion and exclusion, emphasis and reinforcement, and even indulgence or excess.
The idiom "rub elbows" is a common phrase in American English that signifies social interaction or close proximity with influential or important individuals. It has been in use since at least the early 20th century and remains popular today. The idiom conveys the idea of engaging with influential people, seeking opportunities for advancement, and the potential for valuable connections. Whether used in a strategic or sincere sense, the idiom captures the essence of social interaction and the potential benefits it can bring.
Examples of how the idiom "rub elbows" can be used in a sentence:
1. At the business conference, I had the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the industry's top executives.
2. As a journalist, I often get to rub elbows with famous celebrities at red carpet events.
3. The exclusive club is known for its members who rub elbows with influential politicians and successful entrepreneurs.